Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, was selected to receive the prestigious 2016 Trudeau Medal from the American Thoracic Society (ATS).

An internationally noted physician-scientist, health administrator, scholar and educator, Garcia is also the Dr. Merlin K. DuVal Professor of Medicine and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies). He has been an active member of ATS since 1980.

Founded in 1905, ATS is comprised of more than 15,000 physicians, research scientists, nurses and other allied health-care professionals who are collectively the leading authorities worldwide on respiratory disease, critical care illness and sleep disorders.

The ATS awards the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal annually to recognize lifelong major contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease through leadership in research, education and clinical care. The medal has been given since 1926 in honor of Edward Livingston Trudeau, a founder and the first president of the American Lung Association.

The Trudeau Medal will be presented to Garcia on May 15 at the ATS 2016 International Conference in San Francisco.

“Dr. Garcia is a superb physician-scientist who has made major contributions to pulmonary and critical care medicine through his research, teaching and mentoring of physician-scientists, passionate and effective advocacy for minority and underserved groups and outstanding academic leadership,” said Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, who nominated Garcia for the award.


“It is a true honor to receive the recognition of the American Thoracic Society, my colleagues and peers,” Garcia said. “The Trudeau Medal signifies contributions to improving the health and well-being of patients suffering from respiratory diseases and I am extremely grateful to all of the national and international collaborators and trainees whose invaluable contributions made this award possible.”

Garcia was previously recognized by the ATS with the 2015 Leadership Award from the Pulmonary Circulation Assembly for contributions to the understanding of the vascular basis of lung disease and advancing knowledge in pulmonary vascular biology and medicine, and with the 2003 Scientific Accomplishment Award for his groundbreaking work in endothelial cytoskeleton and lung fluid balance.

Internationally recognized for his seminal research contributions to the understanding of lung disease and for the development of novel therapies for critically ill patients with acute inflammatory lung disease, Garcia has nearly 500 peer-reviewed publications. He has an expansive portfolio of National Institutes of Health-sponsored research and continues to direct large federally funded research programs.

A key member of the UA’s senior executive team, Garcia provides academic leadership for the five University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) colleges: Medicine (in Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also has direct leadership oversight of the UA Cancer Center.

At the University of Arizona Health Sciences Garcia is a passionate advocate for the training of physician-scientists and is an active supporter of minority health professions students and aspiring biomedical researchers. He serves as the program director and principal investigator for the NIH-funded Arizona Pride-25 Advanced Health Disparities Training Program, which is designed to offer health disparities research training and project-based experiences to junior faculty members from across the nation. He has guided many minority students at UAHS, Johns Hopkins, UChicago and UIC into academic health professional pathways.